Of this and that…

Another weekend has come and gone; uneventful as usual.

A wonderful end to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa on Sunday with Spain beating Holland, 1-0.    Once again, Paul the octopus has chosen the winning team!  Maybe Spain should make him an honorary Spaniard.

Finally saw The Last Airbender last night and, what can I say…it’s as bad as everyone says it is.  The casting was off, the story seemed rush, the acting was terrible, the dialogue was flat, the mispronunciation of names was atrocious, and the characters didn’t have the right chemistry.  It’s a complete disaster.  There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said about this movie and why it’s so bad. 

I know condensing a 20+ episode series into an hour and a half is a considerable feat for any director, but M. Night Shyamalan failed to even come close to something acceptable.  Important events and characters from the animated series which were not included in the movie made the plot confusing and choppy. 

Does this movie have any redeeming qualities?  Yes – 1.  M. Night Shyamalan did a good job in creating the setting for the movie. The icy lands of the water benders, the deserted temples of the air nomads – the Avatar world was beautifully done.  The bending of the elements by the different characters was awesome, but nothing new and spectacular in special FX when it comes down to it.   2.  The movie was only about an hour and a half long.

I don’t recommend this movie to anyone who hasn’t already seen the 3-season animated series.  Actually, scratch that; I don’t recommend this movie to anyone.  Save your money and wait for it on cable and only watch it if there’s absolutely nothing else to watch and if you’ve absolutely nothing else to do.

On reading, I finished Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games and almost done with the sequel, Catching Fire.  The “young adults” series is a cross between Mad Max and Survivor, set in post-apocalyptic Panem – a country which was once North America before it was destroyed by the government to thwart uprisings and rebellions.

In order to keep its citizens under a constant state of fear and submission, the government created the Hunger Games, wherein random children of Panem would participate yearly and fight to survive.

Suzanne Collins successfully manages to create a world which is both familiar and alien at the same time.  The characters are interesting, albeit annoying at times, and the plot is paced well, with just the right amount of suspense, excitement and romance.

Not a bad choice as far as books in the “young adults” category goes.  Believe me, with all the random books on magic and monsters popping up these days, you can do a lot worse.

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